Your Driver’s License

One of the most important documents a person can possess is their driver’s license.  It not only serves as a representation of your authority to operate a motor vehicle, it also serves as a photo identification to prove that you are who you say you are.  Photocard driver licenses include your photograph, which is updated every ten years, what type of vehicle you are licensed to drive, your name and address, and a number that has been assigned specifically to you.  An additional paper counterpart to the photocard license lists any endorsements or penalties you may have.\r\n\r\nIf you are interested in obtaining your provisional driver’s license and you have never had one, you can apply for it at your local post office.  The cost is £45. 00 and if you are from overseas, you will need to present your passport to the clerk so that they can verify your identity.  If you are a current resident of the country and are applying for your license, you will be required to attend and pass both classroom and practical driving classes before you will be issued your full license after passing a test.\r\n\r\nSome people may need to renew their driver’s license even before the ten-year mark because of medical conditions.  Once you reach the age of seventy, you are required to renew it every three years.  Commercial drivers may need to renew their licenses at more frequent intervals because of the special nature of the vehicles they operate.  If you have a change of address, there is a way to notify the licensing bureau and having it updated by mailing in the information.  Your post office carries all of the booklets and forms necessary for you to get and obtain your driver’s license.

Take the online theory test

Before a driver can take to the road behind the wheel on their own, they must pass the Department of Transport driving test. This is now in two parts, the practical driving test and the theoretical driving test. Your qualified Bill Plant Driving School Instructor will take you through a routine designed to bring you to the standard to pass both parts of driving test.\r\n\r\nDriving on the roads will make passing the practical test a reality. The theoretical test can be practised at any time through the FREE online theory test at the web pages of Bill Plant. This is a great way of gaining valuable experience as to what the real theory test will be like, with over 900 different questions to test your driving knowledge. Bill Plant students can log on with the password given by their instructor, but if you are not a student yet, just login with your name and email address, it”s that easy!

Driving Lessons in Bradford

As one of the most successful driving schools in the UK the Bill Plant Driving School is well established throughout the major conurbations in the country. Unlike some other Driving Schools, Bill Plant’s ethos is that every part of a major city has to be treated as a local area.\r\n\r\nAn example of what is meant by this is when taking driving lessons in Bradford, which is a major conurbation with two major test centres at Eccleshill and at Heaton, because of Bill Plant’s reputation for excellence in driving tuition, it does not have to be daunting. For someone who wants to learn to drive in Bradford to be concerned that they will be pitched into the city centre straight away you need not worry, if you live in Shipley on the one hand or say or Laisterdyke of Wibsey for instance you will be collected in your area and your driving lessons in Bradford will be pitched at the right level for you, supporting you and bringing you to the standard needed to pass your two part driving test.


Roundabouts are probably the biggest challenge for any learner driver in the United Kingdom.  If you do not know how to properly navigate one, you may find yourself literally driving in circles!  For anyone who is learning how to drive for the first time on a provisional licence, roundabouts can be very daunting.  More and more driving schools are taking the time to make sure that their students are properly trained in mastering the art of roundabouts.\r\n\r\nThe biggest problem with roundabouts is the way that the roads are marked.  They also have multiple lanes of fast moving traffic and this is the most likely time that a student driver will make a mistake on their test.  Their skills have yet to be tested and being able to make a judgement call about when to merge and exit the roundabout has not been fully developed. \r\n\r\nOther issues on the practical test that have been identified as problematic include junctions, parallel parking, and reversing around a corner.  These four items are the ones a student driver should attempt to practice when driving with their practice partner in between formal lessons.  With the special learners plates on the vehicle other drivers will be aware that there is a student driver in the car who is possibly hesitant on the roundabout, some might be a little more willing to let the learner merge in and out as necessary.  If the new driver can master all of these skills – especially the roundabouts – they will pass their test with flying colours.

Sharing with the cyclist

Summer time is when the number of cyclist increase due to road events and we all prefer to use a cycle when it is not raining! Also due to the rise in petrol costs we are seeing more cyclists on the road with very differing levels of skill and experience. Due to this drivers of motor vehicles need to take extra care to judge their speed, as well as the road and weather conditions, from the new cyclist”s point of view. Some cyclists, particularly younger ones, have never driven a car, and so don’t recognise the problems that they can cause car drivers.\r\n\r\nCyclist do not have a steel cage around them like the motorist, passing too close can be disconcerting. In traffic, make sure that you don’t cut up a cyclist who is about to pass you on the near side, try not to cut across a cyclist when you need to turn left at a junction and wait behind the cyclist until the cyclist has either turned left or passed the junction. All of this and much more may seem to be common sense, which it is, and you will find reference to safe driving and cyclist in the Online Highway Code at the site of the Bill Plant Driving School.

Driving Lessons in Birmingham

When you are about to take driving lessons there are many things to be considered, foremost is the need for the security of a major national company. Equally though, what is required also is that the Driving School should be local to your particular area so that you can be collected near to your home or work. Fortunately for the ever increasing numbers of people who are now taking driving lessons, the Bill Plant Driving School fit these requirements.\r\n\r\nAn example of this has to be the Bill Plant operation for those who wish to learn to drive in Birmingham, which is one of the most comprehensive in this vast conurbation. Even if you have never sat behind the wheel of a car before, the Bill Plant fully qualified driving instructor will put you at your ease and collect you from your chosen locality, whether this is from diverse points such as Aston to Cradley Heath or eastwards to Chelmsley Wood. Relax; learning to drive in Birmingham and taking the two part driving test at one of the six Birmingham Driving Test Centres is taken care of through sympathetic and understanding coaching by the Bill Plant Birmingham Driving School, you will soon be a qualified driver.

The Hazard Perception Test

The Hazard Perception test is part of the theory portion of your written driver’s exam.  This exam will test how well you can identify potential hazards and reaction time.  You must score at least 44 on the test in order to pass it.  Your score is based on how quickly you identify the hazard in the short video clip that you will be shown.  There are fifteen hazards to find over fourteen clips.  Yes, that means one clip has two hazards that must be properly identified.\r\n\r\nDuring this test, you will sit down at a computer screen that will play a short tutorial telling you how to take the test.  You are allowed to repeat the tutorial if necessary.  When you start the test you will be presented with a freeze frame of the ‘road’ you will be travelling.  Examine the road carefully and when it starts to move, click on your mouse when you identify a developing hazard.  A red flag will appear across the bottom of the screen to alert you that your choice was registered.  Be forewarned that a clip could contain more than one potential hazard.  You want to identify and click on the hazard that will materialize into something dangerous involving other drivers.\r\n\r\nThe score on this test is based on how quickly you recognize the developing hazard and click on the mouse.  The time frame for selection is from the earliest point the hazard could be recognized through the time your ‘vehicle’ arrives at it and takes evasive action.  This time frame is divided into five equal sections and the sooner you identify the hazard, the higher you score.

How to react to an emergency vehicle

You hear the twin note siren and see the blue lights flashing in your rear view mirror, deciding what to do when you hear an emergency vehicle approaching can be a dilemma. Do you stay where you are and potentially block the progress of an emergency vehicle? Or do you move into a position that may put you or other road users at risk?\r\n\r\nOften the emergency vehicle is on top of you before you see or hear it and the reaction is to take drastic action to get out of the way. The Bill Plant qualified driving instructors tell students that good driving practice will alert you early to emergency vehicles, by carrying out regular mirror checks both side and rear for example, and keeping the windows slightly down around town, so you can hear sirens approaching. We advise that you do not panic and brake, or cross red lights to get out of the way, think where you are on the road, maybe it is best to continue until the opportunity arises for the emergency vehicle to pass you safely.

Saving your fuel

We have discussed it before but we make no excuses for raising it again, that is the need to save both fuel and importantly, money. With the ever increasing cost of oil and subsequently petrol and diesel fuel, the need to try to save this precious commodity is paramount and we; at the Bill Plant Driving School offer some handy tips to try to achieve this.\r\n\r\nReduce weight in the car; do not carry unnecessary heavy items and that can mean not keeping your tank full all the time. Keep your tyres inflated to the maximum recommended pressure, do not drive with the windows open, this causes drag it is better to use air conditioning on a hot day but this uses fuel too. Avoid excessive use of the brakes, anticipate approaching traffic lights and junctions, braking turns fuel into waste heat. Keep the revs down; try to get into as high a gear as quickly possible. Keep a really light right foot and plan your journey before hand, a third of city traffic is estimated to be lost or looking for an address. Use motorways as much as possible, the most efficient way to run a vehicle. Lastly, we know this will hurt, consider you car as a luxury item.

Driving Lessons in Sheffield

The Bill Plant Driving School is in the top five in the UK and is recognised as being at the forefront when it comes to innovation in its approach as a driving school, offering many online services which help those who are learning to drive, including free Online Theory Test and the all important Highway Code online.\r\n\r\nNo matter if you have never sat behind the wheel of a car before Bill Plant will take you one step closer to passing that important driving test, whether this is at the Handsworth test centre Sheffield, or maybe you will be taking your driving test at Middlewood Road in Sheffield, we are sure that when you decided to take driving lessons in Sheffield you were relieved to find the Bill Plant Driving School. Their renowned approach of local driving lessons offering regional experience goes a long way when learning to drive in Sheffield. Collecting you within your local area whether this is Abbeydale or Tinsley, to name but two in the whole of the Sheffield area conurbation means that you will not be pitched into the hurly burly of Sheffield city centre traffic and your driving lessons in Sheffield will be pitched at the right level for you.

Driving reforms on the way

New proposals to reform the way people learn to drive and how they are tested has recently been announced by Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly and the Bill Plant School of Motoring will be ready and ahead of the game. It is a sad fact that whilst road deaths have fallen by 33% since the mid 1990s, but the casualty rate for young drivers has not changed. One in five people have an accident within six months of passing their test, and another 70% report near misses in the same period. Alongside this newly-qualified drivers and their passengers account for one in five of all car deaths in Britain.\r\n\r\nWe always stress to the newly qualified driver that they have just reached one milestone following there successful driving test, and we emphasise the need to continue to learn roadcraft to ensure their own and other road users safety. An example would be to enroll for the pass plus course which will make them safer drivers and can reduce their insurance premiums.

Positioning Your Vehicle Properly

In order to get your driver’s license you may have to demonstrate the ability to parallel park your vehicle.  This controlling of your vehicle’s forward and backward motion requires you to be able to steer, use your mirrors, and possibly change position in your seat for the best view.  Your tires and how they grip the road when you speed up, brake and steer also has a lot to do with positioning your car in any situation.  In order to steer well, you should always be seated properly in the driver’s seat and use the hand over hand method of turning the wheel.\r\n\r\nParking is not the only time you need to be concerned with how your vehicle is positioned.  Traversing corners on country roads is a good example.  On some lanes you can see far enough ahead that you will be able to take the turn at the posted speed limit.  On other roads you will need to slow down due to poor visibility.  Curves and turns have a vanishing point – the point where offside and nearside converge – and being able to assess any potential hazard will allow you to position your vehicle properly in the turn.\r\n\r\nWhen you are driving you always need to make sure that all four wheels of your vehicle remain on the road surface to keep the vehicle stable.  Make sure you take your bends as close to the right or left hand side of the road as applicable and try not to cross the centre in case of oncoming traffic.  Steer well clear of cyclists and horse back riders if at all possible and slow right down when you pass them. Driving safely and knowing where your car is positioned at all times will keep you from getting involved in an accident.

Employee driver training

It has never been more important than now to ensure that all employees within a company who has either, access to, or drives company vehicles are full trained and aware of the legislation now in place that affects them and their employers. This also includes those drivers who use their own vehicles for company use, either as part of the job, or on a temporary basis.\r\n\r\nThe consequences for the company can be very serious in the event that the employee is involved in an accident, or the vehicle is defective, or not correctly insured. At Bill Plant Fleetcraft Ltd., as one of the UK’s leading Occupational Road Risk Management and Driver Training specialists, we provide an extensive range of services delivering measurable and tangible results, not only in the field of Occupational Road Risk Management and Consultancy but also driver training to a very high standard. The results include reduced accident rates and improved fuel economy as well as lower fleet operating costs. Contact us, the Corporate Manslaughter Bill became law on the 6th April 2008!

Sorry I didn’t see you!

As a car or commercial vehicle driver, or someone who is taking driving lessons, we have to be particularly aware the there are other road users, those of the two wheeled variety the biker. Cycling and motor cycling have seen a recent revival due to more predictable journey times and better fuel consumption, especially in urban areas.\r\n\r\nDrivers of cars and commercial vehicles have to pay particular attention to these other road users, who for various reasons fail to see the motorcycle coming towards them. Often the car driver looks but fails to see the biker, particularly acute at junctions and that is why it is the subject of an advertising campaign. “Sorry mate I didn”t see you” is for too many bikers the last words they hear before they are put in the ambulance. Pay particular attention to your nearside mirror do not compromise the safety of the cyclist on your near side.